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in vatican city. and in just moments, pope benedict will be arriving one last time as 1.2 million catholics around the world prepare to say farewell to their holy father. good morning and welcome to a special edition of "early start". i'm christian amanpour live from rome on. and we also want to welcome our global viewers on cnn international. this is the final day of the pope's public audiences. pope benedict is about to make his last one right here in the square before stepping down. it is a historic day. becoming the first pope in six centuries to abdicate and he leaves behind a church with many opportunities behind and many challenges, as well. and we'll talk all about that later on on in a moment, take a look at saint peter's square, more than 50,000 people we're told are expected to witness the pope's final general audience. the anticipation has been building. here is the schedule for this morning and for the the next couple of days. at 4:30 a.m., that is eastern time, that's 10:30 a.m. here in rome, the pope arrives in his popemobile. it's an unusual way for him to conduct his wednes
. that is where local media say pope benedict xvi has announced he will resign. we are hearing he will step down on the 28th of february. he was elected pope as the age of 78. we will be getting more information on this breaking news story in just a couple of minutes right here on al jazeera. stay tuned. it just a reminder, we are hearing from the vatican that pope benedict xvi has resigned. let's find out more and bring in sabine joining us on the telephone from italy. what more could you tell us on this announcement the pope will be resigning february 28? >> it appears the pope made the announcement himself but the information is very, very sketchy. of course, this is really big news. having a poker resign is something we have not seen for hundreds and hundreds of years. it appears the pope gave the announcement in latin. that is all we have a moment. we are obviously going to be following this story very closely indeed to see how things develop. >> i understand information just coming in, and very scarce at the moment. but any idea as to why he is going to resign? and why he has made this ann
>>> a day of reflection and hope. pope benedict xvi planning to meet with the cardinals this morning. good morning and welcome to a special edition of "early start," i'm zoraida sambolin. >> i'm john berman. is it 4:00 a.m. in the east. welcome to cnn's live coverage of the pope's last day on the throne of st. peter. >> just ten hours from now pope benedict xvi becomes pope emeritus. he's not riding off into the sunset or helicopter just yet. at 5:00 a.m. eastern, the pope meets with the cardinalss who will pick his replacement. over 100 of them are expected to be on hand and the pontiff will spend a minute or two with each and every one of them. >> that should be fascinating. then cardinal seodano will spea and the pope will make a few spontaneous remarks before leaving his residence one last time. >> this truly is a historic day, not only for a vatican that finds itself at a crossroads but for 1.2 billion catholics awaiting a new spiritual leader and new direction. cnn's chief international correspondent christiane amanpour is live from rome this morning. good morning
alert from have aed can city where pope benedict xvi is making his final public appearance before resigning. good morning. i am heather childers. >> i am patti ann browne. today is wednesday february 27th. moments ago the pope made his appearance. we are looking live at square. they bid him farewell before he officially resigns tomorrow. 50,000 people estimated to be in that square right now. they are watching the pope by giant television screen all along the main boulevard. >> 250,000 people there. as of 8:00 p.m. tomorrow 2:00 p.m. eastern time pope benedict xvi will officially step down. he shocked the world with the announcement earlier this month. the first pope in fact in 600 years to resign. he no longer has the mental or physical strength to leave the catholic church. his final blessing sunday he reacured faithful followers he is not abandoning the church and he will spend his final years in prayer. for more coverage of the pope's final public pier rance we go life to rome where amy kellogg is standing by in saint peters square. she joini us on the phone. >> i am where you
saying good-bye to the pope benedict xvi. his resignation shocked the world. this is the last televised event before the soon to be former pope departs the vatican for his summer residence at castel gandolfo. >>> good morning. pope benedict xvi will spent the final hours of his pope with the cardinals. nbc's anne thomp soj is live at the vatican. let's start with the meeting with the cardinals, first, what is going to happen there? >> what will you see, mara, the dean of the college of the cardinals will welcome the cardinals to the vatican, officially do that, then pope benedict will come in and he'll be greeted by each of the cardinals. there are about 100 cardinals here and the greetings will not be long. each one will come up, kneel before him and kiss his ring. but what is interesting is that perhaps, somewhere in this 100 people could be his successor. and it will be -- you know, people, vatican watchers will be watching very closely to see if there any kinds of signs or signals or favoritism to one of the possible successors or another. you know, people will being looing at this
>> welcome to "the journal." pulp benedict xvi will resign at the end of february -- pope benedict will resign. this makes him the first pontiff in 600 years to step down. it is meant to be a job for life, but pope benedict xvi says he is stepping down at the end of the month. a huge shock for the catholic church and its 1 billion followers. >> the 85-year-old german is resigning because of a progressive decline in land his health and not because of an illness. the new pope will have to be elected. the vatican says that will happen before the end of march. >> it was the moment that will go down in history, a moment even his closest aides were not prepared for. benedict was presiding over a meeting ever cardinals called to discuss business, instead he announced he will become the first pope in six centuries to resign. >> in order to steer the ship of st. peter and proclaim the gospel, both strength of body and mind are necessary. that strength has deteriorated in meat so that i have noticed the adequacy of my inability to fill that entrusted to me. >> the head of the college of card
and frail, pope benedict announces that he will resign at the end of this month. >> you are joking. the pope? oh, my god. >> who will lead the catholic church next and what continent will he come from? we wait for the white smoke to rebuild the succession. with the economy at the forefront, what should we be listening for? we asked one of the top leaders. welcome to our viewers on public television in america and around the globe. joseph is 85 years old and his health is failing. in any other profession, at his resignation would come at no surprise at all. it's as the leader of the catholic church, it is no surprise at all. pope benedict xvi announced that he will resign at the end of february. he is the first pope to do so in 600 years. >> it was during a routine meeting with vatican card bills that pope benedict did something that no pontiff had done in nearly 600 years. he announced his resignation and stunned his audience. he said that i have come to the certainty that my strengths, in due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate execution of saint peter's ministry. pope b
benedict will be staying at castel gandolfo. it's been a retreat for popes for several centuries now. a monastery in the vatican garden is being renovated as a permanent home for him it's a 8,600 square fight complex. renovations have been in the works since november and expected to be completed in the spring. his longtime housekeepers will join him. our special edition of "early start," the pope's last day continues right now. >> our special coverage continues right here on cnn. >>> history in the making. pope benedict xvi about to carry out the last chaj of his papacy meeting one by one with the cardinals who will choose his successor and he might be face-to-face with the next pope in just a few minutes on this last day on the throne of st. peter. good morning. welcome to this special edition of "early start." i'm john berman. >> and i'm zoraida sambolin. we'd like to welcome our viewers from around the world on cnn international. it's the top of the hour, thursday, february 28th. we are witnessing history in the making. no one alive has ever seen a sitting pope step down. >> it is
and will take on a different relevance today. so the car is traveling right now. we just watched pope benedict leave the vatican. there they are moving along. >> straight to the helicopter is where they're headed. let's go to christiane amanpour and father irwin who are in rome right now sort of in the middle of all of that clapping and celebrating we just saw, christiane. >> reporter: indeed. and off he goes in that car, as you said, at a pretty brisk clip. he's going to the helipad which i'm told is at the vatican train station, if you can believe it and you know better than i that there is a vatican train station. he'll get on the helicopter and go. i just came from the north american college where i interviewed cardinal dolan about half an hour ago and he said, cardinal dolan, that him and many of the other cardinals, the american elected cardinals who are going to be staying there are going to go up to the roof to see if they can see the helicopter taking off. we've already seen cardinal turkson of ghana has joined the twitter revolution and he himself from the top of st. peter's behind m
is pouring in from around the globe as the head of the catholic church pope benedict, plans to step down. the first time a pope has resigned in self new jersey. >> a gunman opening fire inside a courthouse in delware. his estranged wife may be among the dead. a manhunt for an ex-cop accused of targeting police and their families. now the los angeles police have offered a seven-figure reward to information leading to his capture. all ahead, unless breaking news changes everything, on "studio b." >> first from fox's 3:00, bombshell ai knowns. which the world has not seen since 1415. pope benedict xvi saying he is stepping down. a move that took even his closest advisers by surprise and sets the stage for a new era in the catholic church and its bun billion catholics around the world. the 85-year-old pontiff says he doesn't have the strength to continue his duties in the church and will step down at the opened the month. his -- some cardinals not understanding what he said. we're seeing the same reaction from catholics all over the world, including here in the united states, the new york ar
benedict xvi feels it is better to hand it over to someone, given the size of the job at how much response ability it is. >> let's turn to the bbc's tom burridge for madrid. the reaction there. >> no official reaction yet but we did get through to a priest in the local parish in madrid that expressed the surprise, a complete shock, i guess, over the decision saying he has not spoken to any colleagues, friends and religious circles who has heard any rumors that the pope was thinking of stepping down. this is a country pope benedict xv has visited three times and collected. 2006, he went to valencia. 2010, santiago and in barcelona. and then the following year he came to the capital, madrid. he was quite critical, interestingly, in the visit to barcelona. the policies toward the church -- prime minister zapatero. he legalized gay marriage and relaxed abortion laws and the pope on that is a call on europe's catholics to renew the faith and fought the aggressive secularism of the spanish government. pope benedict put a lot of importance on spain because spain -- a good relationship. yes, it la
of the catholic church, it is no surprise at all. pope benedict xvi announced that he will resign at the end of february. he is the first pope to do so in 600 years. >> it was during a routine meeting with vatican card bills that pope benedict did something that no pontiff had done in nearly 600 years. he announced his resignation and stunned his audience. he said that i have come to the certainty that my strengths, in due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate execution of saint peter's ministry. pope benedict said the strength of mind and body are necessary. strength in that in the last few months had deteriorated to the point where he doubted he could carry out his duties. only yesterday pope had spoken to sunday audience in st. peter's square. the vatican said that there was no specific medical issue making can step down. the pope said that he did not have the stamina to continue. >> i am very disappointed and in shock about what happened this morning. >> it is a great act of courage to do what has not been done in 600 years. >> 1 cardinal feels it is a liberating act fo
benedict's legacy, that he has changed potentially of how we look at the papacy, how those cardinals that go into conclave view the papacy in viewing the position that one would hold for life. >> it may be kind of a water shed, setting a new precedent. but i think one of the things that's important to realize is that even though this decision is so new, and it's so bold and it took so much courage and strength to make the decision, it actually reiterates and confirms a truth about the papacy that we have always held in the catholic church that. the papacy was really an office that was established by jesus christ. it doesn't belong to the man. it's not about the man who's the pope. it's about an office that was established by god in order to bring to help the church have unity and to guide the church throughout the tum multis of history. there's been a lot of tumultuous periods in the history of the church. but by making this statement or making this move, this decision, the pope is reminding us, well, it's not the pope that runs the church. it's really god. we really believe that the
. >> reporter: pope benedict 16 says he will be quitting february 28, less than 8 years into his papacy. he said his strength has deteriorated the last couple months and he noted a lack of strength to fulfill his mission. the senior sa senior advisor sae noticed the pope slowing down. we watched pope john paul ii suffer through the last few years of his papacy. maybe he wanted to avoid that. the former cardinal joseph ratzinger was touched by the charges of child abuse in the catholic church. bill: what happens next on the dates that are aren't? >> reporter: he's leaving february 28, 8:00 p.m. local time in rome. that leaves that very important vacancy and sets up a conclave of cardinals. vatican says by mid-march at the latest. vatican says we should have a new pope by esther sunday march 31. pope benedict will not take part in the conclave. usually a conclave happens after a pope dies. 1415 was the last time a pope quit in office. who is the next pope? he could come from developing areas of the world. it guarantees a lot of drama and a lot of black or white smoke coming from the roof is sistin
benedict divests himself us as he leaves the papacy, that ring, and all of the ring before will be destroyed. >> destroyed using a silver papal hammer and there will be no ring until the conclave and the election of a new pope, it was very interesting that here in new york our cardinal dolan said that he and other cardinals will sing a psalm as they file into the sistine chapel. and is that something that's typical, liz, is that traditional, or is that unique to this conclave? >> i think in particular, these psalm of pent nance is part of the lenten a framework. but, also, it's part of the sistine chapel proper. indeed, as you look at the ceiling, the very last images the very last prophet, then you get to that resurrection of joan in the center. it's fitting for the time, it's fitting for the space and it's fitting for this particular occasion as well. >> let me bring ann thompson back in. you were saying earlier that the pope won't do what's traditional at many of these audiences which is to allow a number of faithful to kiss the ring and receive the blessing. he has deci
benedict xvi making his final official speech to the public before stepping down just over 24 hours from now. at 8:00 p.m. tomorrow, he becomes the first pope in centuries to resign. and he's leaving behind a vatican really at a cross roads. the catholic church facing difficult challenges and also opportunities as it moves forward. now, as i say, usually when there's a transition and we've covered it so many times, well, not so many times, but the last one i was here, and that was because a pope died. john paul ii died after living his last years infirmed and in visible pain. now we have a transition, we have a living pope. you're not watching a funeral before the next pope is elected. you're not watching the world's heads of state come here to pay their respects to the departed pope. you're seeing a much different kind of transition. john al whlen, what is pope benedict going to do the rest of the day? >> normally the wednesday audience, the pope gives religious instruction rooted in scripture. but today i would imagine that knowing the momentous nature of what's happening, it's probabl
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: pope benedict xvi will step down at the end of february, becoming the first pontiff to resign in 600 years. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> suarez: and i'm ray suarez. on the newshour tonight, we have the latest on the surprise announcement, and we assess benedict's legacy and the challenges ahead for the catholic church. >> woodruff: then we get an update on the search for the fugitive police officer wanted for murder from los angeles mayor antonio villaraigosa. >> suarez: elizabeth brackett of wttw-chicago has the story of a dramatic drop in the water level of lake michigan, endangering the economies of towns along the shore. >> if i had been walking along this beach in 1984, the water would have been almost a foot over my head. >> woodruff: on the daily download, christina bellantoni examines what it means to "like" someone-- or something-- on facebook. >> suarez: and jeffrey brown talks with novelist brad meltzer about his new book, writing thrillers, and his research into presidential assassins. >> if you lo
some even made the pope laugh as he reached out to them. and in just a couple hours, benedict will depart the vatican for the last time as pope. he will take off from the helipad just behind the st. peter's basilica there. and vatican television cameras will follow the journey, live, robin. >> what history you're witnessing, george. you're going to be there all morning long, live. >>> and here, with josh, sam, bianna in for lara. we have a full morning here in new york as well. we are going to bring you the latest encouraging headlines for your wallet. the dow surging near record highs. bianna's going to bring us that. >>> and how about this? the hairstylist at war over a fortune. the co-workers said they bought the ticket as a group. one of them claimed the whole prize for herself. and that would never happen here. >> mostly never. >> full morning ahead. >>> of course, let's go back, now, to george in rome. george? >> and it is just a glorious day here, robin. sunny, warm. almost spring-like. those cardinals that the pope met with this morning have already begun their informa
today it had not seen since the 15th century: a sitting pope, benedict xvi, announced he is giving up the papacy. the news reverberated around the globe and stunned many of the world's 1.2 billion catholics. >> it was a big surprise because this doesn't happen all the time. and my first reaction was to pray and to call my friends, texted my friends and asked even my non-catholic and nonbelieving friends to keep us in their thoughts and in their prayers. >> i had never heard anything like this in my life. the pope has to be there until he dies. and he is resigning? >> popes can't resign. this hasn't happened in 600 years. a pope can't resign. this news isn't right. >> suarez: a pope abdicated in 1294 but the last pontiff to do so was gregory 12th in 1415. pope benedict's decision at age 85 came in an announcement made in latin during a meeting of cardinals at the vatican. >> dear brothers, i have called you not only for the three can onizations but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the church. after having repeatedly examined my conscience before
. >>> we do have breaking news this morning. shocking news, really. pope benedict xvi isresigning. a spokesman will not reveal way. fatigue and possibly declining health over the past year, but, again, no reason has been given. he became pope in 2005. you will remember, he had been joseph rat singer, cardinal, a major figure at the vatican for years before he became pope benedict. german born. been pope for nearly eight years. nearly eight years and this is just a major, major bit of news this morning. coming out of the vatican, again, cnn confirming the pope will step down on february 28th, which is just a little over two weeks from today. >> and no clear reason. we're trying to get more details to share those with you. this is shocking. this is shocking, absolutely shocking. we'll continue to watch the developments for you, folks. 6:00. the painstaking cleanup getting under way after a violent tornado ripped through mississippi tearing apart homes, businesses and even causing damage to a university campus. a storm chaser occasi e er -- l. capture these images. this is 100 miles
the successor to pope benedict after that shocking decision yesterday to step down. and another big story we're following is back at home, because the president is putting the finishing touches on the first state of the union speech of his second term. and we'll have a lot more on that coming up in this hour. but this morning, we are starting to get new information about pope benedict, and particularly about his health. decisions that may have played into his shocking announcement to abdicate. for example, we now know this morning, the pope has had a pacemaker for some time and actually had a minor operation to replace its batteries three months ago. we're also hearing for the first time about a fall he took while he was on a trip to cuba in mexico. just hours after his announcement, this video circulated. you can see it shows lightning striking st. peter's basilica, maybe leading some catholics to wonder if it was some sort of sign from above. a sign of what, that's also a source of speculation here. i'm joined by elizabeth lev here in rome. good to see you. >> great to be here. it's a real
." gayle king is off. pope benedict is resigning in just a few hours. he's stepping down with promises to obey his successor. >> the pope met once last time with the college of cardinals one of those men will be the next leader of 1.2 billion roman catholics. allen pizzey is in vatican city to begin our coverage of the pope benedict's farewell. good morning. >> reporter: good morning. by the time evening begins to fall over rome benedict will be looking down at the vatican from a helicopter. three hours later he will no longer be pope and the politicking to find the new one can begin in earnest. in one of his final acts inside the vatican, pope benedict said good-bye to the cardinals. 67 of whole he had elevated to their position as the prince of the church. addressing what he called the future pope among you, benedict programs ed promised his unconditional reverence and obedience, among those making the list although a long shot is u.s. cardinal timothy dolan. in an interview cardinal dolan reflected on what kind of man will emerge as pope. >> all the other things
and makes us new." just ahead, benedict's health, his replacement, and what's next for the catholic church. "newsroom" starts now. >>> good morning. thank you so much for joining me. i'm carol costello. we begin with a bombshell greeting 1 billion catholics around the world. their spiritual leader, pope benedict xvi stepping down at the end of the month. we're bringing you all the angles of this developing story. joining me now for this hour's special coverage, chris cuomo, he's in new york. >> good morning, carol. great to joining here. >>> shocking news because this simply hasn't been done. it's been almost 600 years since a pope resigned. it was gregory xii. it was to end the civil war. the question becomes why is pope benedict doing this now? we're going to get reaction first because no one saw this coming, certainly in this country. let's start off our coverage with deb feyerick in st. patrick's cathedral in new york city, the center of the american catholic tradition here. deb, what are you hearing this morning? what a shocker. >> reporter: it's fascinating because the resignation to
officially popeless. benedict xvi boarded a helicopter and flew into retirement. details on his legacy and what is next for the catholic church. the dow flirting with an all-time high, up 36. and a slew of positive economic reports. when they tell you it's all horrible, tell them they are wrong. that's coming up. plus, look at that. the murder trial against a woman who stabbed her ex-boyfriend 27 times, shot him and slit his throat. takes another raunchy turn. it's all ahead, unless breaking news changes everything. on studio b. >> shepard: first, at 3:00 in new york city, a historic day for the catholic church. today pope benedict xvi stepped down and for catholics around the world, there's no pope. the pope left the vatican for the last time as the holy father, to huge round of applause. the helicopter took the pope to his traditional summer home 15 minutes southeast of the vatican. that building dates to the 1600s, it's not a bad retirement home. historians say in the days of world war ii, then o'pious the xii idea it to shelter soldiers. ben did is set to return to rome later this
for something the church has not experienced since the middle ages, pope benedict going through the final motions before stepping down as leader of the catholic church. here he is earlier this morning appearing before an assembly of the world's cardinals. the pope met with each of them individually for just a minute or two. and it will now be up to many of these men to choose his successor. it's an almost unprecedented challenge to an ancient religion grappling with the turmoil and scandal that's dogged benedict's reign. >> translator: during eight years we have lived with faith, marvelous moments in the history of the church and also times when the world is covered by dark clouds. >> there is no time frame for electing the next pope, but here's how benedict's leadership will end, next hour the pope leaves the vatican his home and will fly to his summer residence at castell gandolfo, at 2:00 eastern his reign ends and the catholic church faces its challenges without an official leader. we're following all the latest on this story of intrigue and uncertainty. senior international correspon
>>> breaking news we have been telling you about. pope benedict xvi resigning february 28th. he is citing ill health. and uncertainty what that ill health will be. we're trying to get more details. unprecedented. >> hasn't happened in 600 years. so many questions. so much now that needs to happen with electing the new pope. we'll bring you the information coming up on "starting point" a few seconds from now. that's "early start." i'm john berman. >> i'm sfwlor azoraida sambolin. "starting point" with soledad o'brien starts right now. >>> we begin with breaking news. pope benedict xvi resigning. age and fatigue are the reasons behind his resignation. here is what the statement reads in part "both strength of mind and body are necessary. strength which in the last few months has deteriorated in me to the extent that i have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me." this tweet came from the pope's account 23 hours ago. we must trust in the mitty power of god's mercy. we are all sinners, but his grace transforms us and makes us new. this woul
the vatican that pope benedict xvi will re-sign at the end of the month? the pope says he no longer has the strength to carry out 0 the job. joe rosato jr. spoke to san francisco's controversial archbishop who knows the pope well. >> reporter: shortly before pope benedict was archbishop of san francisco salvator met with the pope. >> he was mentally alert and engaged in conversation, but he seemed to be fiphysically hurti. >> reporter: still, he never expected to hear the history making news pope benedict was stepping down. >> i was just as shocked as anyone else. i hadn't heard raw morse rumors speculation. >> reporter: he watched popes live longer and the stresses of the job grow harder. >> there are greater demands placed on the pope now and going forward living for a longer time. it's a different dynamic now. >> reporter: he says pope benedict's tenure was especially stressful with the church embroiled in the sex abuse crisis, and though the church's critics will likely disagree, he believes pope benedict will be remembered for his courage to address it. >> he was one of the leading
in modern times think resignation is acceptable or not. pope benedict said, in fact, made it very clear that being able to resign was acceptable and made this part of the statement released from the vatican, both strength of mind and body is necessary, and lots of questions, of course. we know the date he would be stepping down, which would be february 28th. many questions about why now? mep notice that the pope is much more frail in recent months, and the question would be unbelie unbelievably unusual. let's go to nic robertson joining us by phone. nic, lots of questions. nic live in london this morning. a bit of a stunner. was there any indication that this resignation was coming? >> absolutely none whatsoever, and the last few months, the pope started a twitter account, not what you expect the pope to do when he would say his pope is deteriorating. the pope has looked deep into his conscience, this is a personal and profound decision that he has made with god in light of the responsibilities he has. and the other thing we heard from the papal spokesperson, which is interesting, becau
, breaking news. pope benedict is abdicating, something a pope has not done in over 700 years of the the vatican saying this has nothing to do with outside pressures. [ speaking foreign language ] >> as you hear there, the pope speaking in latin to a meeting of vatican cardinals saying he will step down effective as the leader of the world's -- the 85-year-old pontiff saying his strength is no longer adequate. this news took fearly everyone by surprise, including the archbishop of new york, cardinal dolan. >> i'm as startled as the rest of you and anxious to find out exactly what's going on. >>> other reactions italy's prime minister saying he's greatly shaken by the unexpected news. >>> and british prime minister david cameron said he will be missed as a spiritual leader for millions. >>> and from angela merkel -- he had to make a difficult decision. just some of the reaction that's coming in today. joining mess is rome bureau chief claudio lavagna, and george weigel from washington. claudio, i want to start with you. we have part of the pope's statement. in it he said that b
benedict xvi stunned every this week by announcing he is resigning at the end of this month. we expect the cardinals to gather in mid-to late march to elect a new pope. our brian todd has a closer look now at who will run things in the meantime, and at the politics of picking the pope's successor. >> reporter: it is politics in overdrive, with the pope leaving february 28th, who will be in power at the vatican until a new pope is elected. there is a position, a right-hand man to the pope, who deals with finances and the managing tasks. it was portrayed as a master power broker. in real life, the title was held by the cardinal who also holds the powerful position of secretary of state, who in the vatican is like a prime minister. but experts say don't get the idea that bertoni is the stuff of movie legend. >> despite the job title and movies, he is not the best organizer? >> no, the joke in rome is he couldn't organize a one-man band, the number one criticism is they couldn't make the job run on time. >> reporter: the correspondent for the national catholic reporter newspaper says that
by the pictures of the extraordinary affection for benedict xvi, and i think he'll return it to the crowd and thank them. i think he'll acknowledge the great universality of the church. i would expect there to be strong spiritual words from this man today. >> people who have been around the pope the last several days describing his manner as serene. as someone who saw him on ash wednesday, both in audience in the morning and the ash wednesday mass in the evening, that's exactly how he looked to me. he's not someone who wants a lot of attention or prone to flashy good-byes, but do you think we'll see some emotion from this pope today? >> chris, pope benedict's serenity comes from a mature mind, well formed spirit, a man of real spiritual discipline, great student of the bible. on his day of resignation, he said jesus christ is the real leader of the church, the true ruler of the church. i suspect he'll say something of that today. in addition to what is an energetic atmosphere, an unsettled atmosphere. the church is moving into uncharted waters beginning at 8:00 tomorrow night. and while i
hopes there will be someone new by the end of march. >> pope benedict will go to a summer retreat after he resigns and then he will move to a monostair where he will dedicate the remainder of his life to prayer. >>> 80 million americans call themselves catholic, but their numbers have been dwindling. some were proud of his decision, others were furious that he didn't do more about child sex abuse by priest. bruce, what did you find? >> among survivors of child sex abuse, there is a sense that pope benedict could have done far more, but among many of the faithful, there is a pride in pope benedict and he remains really quite popular, even though he succeeded the wildly popular, john paul. >> it's very startling. unprepared for. >> cardinal whirl was with the pope in october and had no sign that the pontiff was struggling with his duty. >> he was in full possession. >> part of the conclave that will select the next pope. and he says he will be looking for continuity with the conservative teachings of benedict and john paul. >> there's a basic doctrine that is bedrock or catholic fai
the vatican. why did pope benedict really say he is stepping down? and what does it mean for a billion catholics around the world? >>> in ruins. a tornado roaring up the street. electrical wires dangling. the massive cleanup tonight in one american town. >>> rescue. thousands of people stranded on a vacation cruise ship, cut off from the world. and the lifeboat on the way to try to help them tonight. >>> and honor and valor. the emotional ceremony for a heroic soldier. the lesson he teaches about the american spirit. and an unlikely little star in a suit and tie. >>> good evening on this monday night. a centuries old tradition has been shattered by a surprise. pope benedict, chosen to be pope for life, today announced he will resign, citing his failing strength and health. and the toll of his seven years, nine months and 24 days as pope etched on his face. there he was, as we saw him on day one. and now, much thinner, frailer. this is unchartered territory for 1 billion catholics around the world. no pope has resigned in 598 years. and it's happening just 48 hours before the holy seaso
benedict xvi says he'll resign at the end of this month after only eight years as leader of the world's 1 billion roman catholics. he says it's because of his age and his health. and now the question being asked around the world, who will be the next pope? we're watching what's going on. we have several correspondents in rome. pope benedict's papacy has been marked by serious controversies, especially the sex abuse scandal and his prior role as the church's lead investigator personally handling every single case that made its way to the vatican. cnn's brian todd is working this part of the story for us. we're going to go to rome in just a few moments, but tell us what's going on. >> reporter: wolf, here at the basilica of the national shrine of the immaculate conception they were shocked as anyone. this is the spot where it was one the most talked about moments of his visit to the united states almost five years ago. the place where he addressed one of the biggest controversies of his tenure and there was certainly no shortage of those during his papacy. the scrutiny began before he even
. today, stunning news from the vatican. i wonder if god was surprised to learn pope benedict is stepping down. >>> i'm s.e. cupp. millions of americans captivated by the search of a successor. the picking a new pontiff. >>> i'm steve kornacki. president obama has tossed out the old olive branch. coming up, a man who himself helped write four state of the union addresses explains who us how it takes shape. >>> i'm krysa tal. should the president go big by thinking small? it's monday and you're in "the cycle." >>> after having repeatedly examined my conscience before god, i have come to the certainty that my strengths due to an advanced age are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the petrine ministry and the pope abdicated with only eight years on st. peter's throne shocking the 1 billion catholic faithful around the world. the's not a papal abdication in more than 700 years and surprised the close est adviser today. he's a theological conservative with strong positions against homosexuality, women priests and the use of contraceptives. the last day in the vatican is february 28th.
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